I recently read an article about a special one-day parent conference organized by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and its parent involvement committee. This conference was designed to bridge the gap between what happens at school and home. As a parent, I can totally relate to the struggles that parents have when faced with their children’s homework. With busy lives and the pressures of work, it can be tempting to hope that your kids finish their homework during classtime, or at the very least, know how to tackle their homework independently. But more important than ever, our kids need us to be present in their lives – emotionally, physically, spiritually, and yes, also mentally. Parents, as well as other key adult figures in a child’s life, model attitudes about learning, questioning, communicating, compromising. This got me thinking, “What kind of attitudes do I model for the children in my life?” If you ask yourself this question, as a parent, a teacher, or any role model, what attitudes come to mind?
Since a new year tends to be a good time for reflection, I invite you to take a minute to consider a few more questions with me:
- Have I embraced the new day with excitement and enthusiasm? Here are 5 positive ways to start the day.
- What kind of ripples am I sending out for the rest of the day – for myself and for others? My emotional state reflects on those around me. Our mirror neurons, as I have learned this week in RAP training (Response Ability Pathways (RAP) and Circle of Courage), offer us a way to directly influence the attitudes of those around us, especially our students. Here’s an article that shares how mirror neurons can influence perspectives in the classroom.
- Am I present in the moment? This goes for time spent with family or friends as well as in pre-intern classes, at work, church or volunteer experiences. Living in the moment; putting down the cell phone, closing my laptop, and focusing on the interactions around me – this is the biggest focus for me in the new year.
- Lastly, am I looking at my experiences in a mindful way? Also tied to living in the moment, this can help me to model for others the ability to focus on the things I can affect. For some ideas on the Art of Now, visit this blog.
I look forward to asking these questions often in the next few weeks, and sharing any new revelations they bring. Do you have other questions you are asking yourself this year? Please comment below with your own questions, comments or resources! Happy beginnings!